Education CommitteeFurther written evidence submitted by Pearson (Annex C)

The note below sets out in more detail how our awarding organisation, Edexcel, interacts with publishers, including our own Pearson imprints.


Pearson UK is a significant contributor to the delivery of education in the UK, offering qualifications through the awarding organisation Edexcel as well teaching and learning resources and technology to schools, colleges, higher education and employers through Pearson publishing.

Our goal is for courses to be supported with teaching and learning resources which enable them to be delivered to the highest possible standard—giving students coverage of the areas which will be assessed and providing a gateway to go beyond. We do this by working within our organisation and with other organisations to develop support materials, textbooks and digital learning which meet with the learning objectives and expectations of our courses.

1. Endorsement

In our experience, teachers in schools value choice between resources to suit their teaching style and the needs of the children in their classes.

Given the emphasis on qualifications, many teachers also ask for assurance that the resources they are using cover off all of the content on which students may be assessed.

We support the above in three ways:

1.Pearson develop resources which support Edexcel qualifications, and seek endorsement for them

2.Edexcel endorse other publishers who produce resources in support of their qualifications. Appendix 1 provides an indication of the range and number of titles we endorse.

3.Pearson produces resources which support qualifications from other awarding organisations. Where possible, we seek endorsement for these books.

All books intended to support Edexcel qualifications go through an independent process of endorsement, whether they are produced by Pearson or not.

This endorsement team and its activities are strictly firewalled from all Pearson publishing staff.

We never present the purchase of an endorsed resource, be it published by Pearson or anyone else, as necessary to offer an Edexcel course.

2. Pearson resource share in Edexcel resources

Resources developed in support of Edexcel qualifications make up £13.4 million of Pearson’s £116.2 million educational publishing business in UK and about 3% of our overall Pearson UK education revenues.

Across all subjects, about 60% of Edexcel centres also buy resources from Pearson (we do not know how many of these also buy resources from other publishers). However, Pearson’s market share in resources does not match our share in qualifications—strength in a subject area in qualifications is not always reflected in strength in the resources for that subject. For example, in A level Geography our qualifications share is 37.3%, but for resources it’s only 12.2%. In English GCSE our qualifications share is just 4.4%, but our publishing share is 45%.

In some subjects, we do hold full market share. This is in subjects where no other publishers choose to produce resources because the numbers studying the course are too small. These lines are typically loss making for Pearson. We see one of the benefits of Pearson’s integrated business and scale as our ability to offer teachers the support they need for these courses and maintain choice for pupils.

3. Edexcel promotion of resources from other publishers

Excluding Pearson products, there are over 400 endorsed resources for Edexcel qualifications on the market. We have endorsed more than 10 different publishers in the last five years.

Edexcel actively promote these resources to schools through subject experts who support schools who offer Edexcel qualifications. In addition, all endorsed resources are listed on Edexcel’s website.

4. Commercially sensitive information

Pearson have staff who input both to curriculum and specifications for qualifications as well as the resources which will support them.

We seek to ensure a level playing field by issuing notice of new specifications coming to market to other publishers well ahead of release, during development phase.

This is in our interests since we want as many resources as possible to be available to support Edexcel qualifications once they are accredited for teaching.

5. Examiners and authors

Pearson staff may not be authors for Pearson.

At present, our contracted examiners may be authors for any publisher, including Pearson, provided they are not the main author on a book supporting the course for which they set question papers.

We are piloting approaches to preventing examiners from having any involvement in writing any resources for courses they examine.

We will need to explore legal implications and work with other publishers and awarding bodies to devise a watertight solution to this, but that is the direction we wish to take.



Cambridge University Press = about 5

Chaloner Publishing = 3

Harper Collins = 100

Hodder Education =100

Nelson Thornes =50

Oxford University Press = 50

Philip Allan Updates = 5

Pumpkin Interactive = 15

Routledge = 5

ZigZag Education = 100

Edexcel also endorse a few other publishers on one or two titles.

February 2012

Prepared 2nd July 2012